Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Jekyll Island, Georgia
Part of Georgia's Golden Isles, Idyllic Jekyll Island Boasts 10 Miles of Beautiful Beaches, Stately Mansions and an Untamed Quality
Just off the southern Georgia coast, idyllic 5,500-acre Jekyll Island is one of the state's four Golden Isles and boasts 10 miles of beautiful, soft sand beaches, including dreamy Driftwood Beach. The island is reachable from the mainland via the Jekyll Island Causeway and attracts tourists year-round. Considered a census-designated place, the island has no official town.
In the late-1800s, a few wealthy individuals named Rockefeller and Morgan purchased the island and turned it into a private retreat called The Jekyll Island Club. Many of the stately mansions built during that time still stand today and are designated historic landmarks. The State of Georgia bought the island just after WWII and still owns it today while contracting out island management to Jekyll Island Authority. State law mandates that development remain limited, so just 1,609 acres, mostly along the Atlantic side, are developed, giving much of the island an untamed quality. Those 1,609 acres, though, are dotted with homes, hotels, seafood eateries, touristy and upscale shopping venues, 63 holes of golf, a water park, bicylcle trails, dolphin tours, mansion ("cottage") tours, a tennis complex and a sea turtle center.
The Turtle Crawl and the Shrimp and Grits Festival are just two of many fun annual festivals. Sunsets seen from St. Andrews Beach, the only west-facing beach in the Golden Isles, are spectacular.
Population: 1,100 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 90%
Cost of Living: 30% above the national average
Median Home Price: $575,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the and 40s and 50s. On average, the area receives 48 inches of rain each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Southeast Georgia Health System is in Brunswick, about 10 miles away, and accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Southeast Georgia Health System is in Brunswick, about 10 miles away, and is accredited.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: No
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 45%
Is Georgia Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Hurricanes can happen. Summer traffic can be a headache.
Notes: A pass is required to enter Jekyll Island from the mainland and is about $75 per year for residents. Jekyll Island home prices have decreased 3% since a year ago. The island has maintained its population during the last decade.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
The Peach State ratified the Constitution on January 2, 1788, becoming the fourth state to enter the Union. By the mid-19th century, Georgia was rich in plantations and deeply dependent on the slave economy. During the Civil War, General Sherman captured Atlanta and set about destroying much of the state's plantation culture.
The largest state east of the Mississippi River, Georgia has five major geographical regions that descend from the Appalachian Mountains in the north down to the Okefenokee Swamp in the southeast. The climate is surprisingly uniform. Most of the state experiences a mild winter and a hot summer.
Although Georgia is the nation's number one producer of peaches, peanuts, and pecans, agriculture is not its major employer. Trade, service industries, textile manufacturing, and federal organizations like the CDC and Fort Benning supply a larger number of jobs.
Georgia was the first state to lower the voting age to 18. Its Wesleyan College was the first chartered college in the world to grant degrees to women.
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